The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency will launch a new X-ray space observatory called Astro-H   on Friday at 3:45 a.m. EST (5:45 p.m. local time) from the Tanegashima Space Center and you can watch the launch live in the window below, courtesy of NASA. Editor's note: If you're looking for news about Thursday's gravitational waves discovery, see our special report: Gravitational Waves Detected by LIGO: Complete Coverage

From NASA: 

"ASTRO-H is expected to provide breakthroughs in a wide variety of high-energy phenomena in the cosmos, ranging from the superheated material on the brink of falling into a black hole to the evolution of vast galaxy clusters. It is equipped with four advanced instruments covering a broad energy range, from low-energy, or "soft," X-rays around 300 electron volts (eV) to soft gamma rays up to 600,000 eV. For comparison, the energy of visible light spans about 2 to 3 eV.

ASTRO-H is capable of observing X-ray sources, like galaxy clusters and neutron stars, more than 10 times fainter than its predecessor, Suzaku, which operated from 2005 to 2015. To achieve this, ASTRO-H uses four co-aligned focusing X-ray telescopes and a suite of cutting-edge instruments that provide simultaneous coverage across the observatory's entire energy range.

ASTRO-H was developed by the Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, a division of JAXA. It was built jointly by an international collaboration led by JAXA, with contributions from NASA Goddard and other institutions in Japan, Canada and Europe. Additional Goddard responsibilities included development of the analysis software and data processing pipeline and creation of a facility to support a vigorous guest observer program enabling the participation of the broader U.S. science community in the mission."

NASA Satellite TV Information:

NASA TV is available in cbe a ontinental North America, Alaska and Hawaii on AMC-18C. A Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) compliant Integrated Receiver Decoder (IRD) is needed for reception. Below are parameters for each channel:

Uplink provider = AMC 18 C

Transponder = 3C

105 degrees W


Downlink Frequency: 3760 MHz

Downlink Polarity: Vertical

Transmission Format = DVB-S, 4:2:0

FEC = ¾

Data Rate = 38.80 Mbps

Symbol Rate = 28.0681

Modulation: QPSK/DVB-S

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